March is going to be a busy month for our group, with two separate gigs and workshops on the horizon. This particular post is going to be all about the first weekend of March that we spent in Tucson, Arizona, with the steampunks of Wild Wild West Con! At this convention, our troupe, consisting of Nikolai de la Muerte, Eve Riot, Selia Something, Igor, and Stormy Merryweather, busked, tea dueled, and performed a custom created burlesque show for the participants of the hot sunny weekend in Old Tuscon.
Our poster for this weekend is credited to Stormy Merryweather and her power over Photoshop!
Since our troupe is based in California, we first had to get to Arizona, which is a 12 hour drive or a 3 hour flight. Due to our costumes and props we elected to drive and all managed to cram into Gautry, the Juke clown car of Selia Something. The drive was overall, uneventful, we took our time to get out of our home state and into the new one, taking turns driving and listening to various podcasts to educated our party. We arrived at our destination at 830 pm, right smack in the middle of the opening festivities, which made unpacking a social affair of greeting friends and foe as we unloaded the car.
In addition to our busking, we met up with Madam Askew's Temporal Entourage, the tea dueling group that introduced us to the game and became good friends with out group several years ago at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego, CA. We met up with the intern supreme, William who was to make sure we did not explode any teapots or frighten the smaller steampunk at these events. We had a small crowd show each kid's tea dueling hour so we were able to devote our attention to each duelist in turn and everyone, of course, got a prize of a ring pop!
Finally we also participated in the annual fashion show, to showcase our sweet striped and silly antics to a large audience. We advertised each person and their distinct personalities as well as our burlesque show that evening. This event is always fun because the most amazing constructions and characters walk the stage, each with an interesting biography read by the most delightful Australian Emcee.
Once the sun went down we were back at the hotel, going to parties and helping support the Tipsy Tea Dueling. Tea Dueling is already a silly sport, but when you add alcohol, cursing, and innuendo, it does become exponentially more ridiculous. Stormy got to actually have her first tea duel, but due to her gluten allergy, was forced to have a second, Eve Riot. Eve Riot and Nikoiai faced off with their suggestive looks and gestures for Stormy and her opponent. We also spent time tasting absinthe, tea, and very good whiskey with various factions of Steampunks on Thursday and Friday evening. One thing the steampunk community does well is drink and be welcoming to all party participants!
Saturday night however, was a different story. This was our night to perform our burlesque show "In Flight Entertainment" where we put on a show that took the audience around the world in 60 minutes. We had Madam Askew and the Grand Arbiter as our Emcees for the night, and we could not have been more overjoyed with their naughty participation. They gloried in our performers and cracked jokes at the countries that we were representing. They called us the "United Nations of Burlesque" and, since we were in a lecture hall, treated the show as an education in the art to our audience.
Our show took our audience to Spain first, with Stormy Merryweather swirling and twirling with a set of red fans to the tune of Spanish Caravan by The Doors. She was an elegant creature of black and red, spinning across the stage. The crew was already extremely excited and cheered her on to great effect.
From there we ventured to India with Selia Something. She did a yoga piece, showcasing her flexibility and grace to a lovely DJ mix. Her movements astounded the audience - she was so bendy and elegant in her jewel toned clothing and sensual smile. The piece ended though on a humorous note, with Igor rushing to cover her up at the end before she revealed too much.
After the hot sunshine of India, we went to the freezing cold of Russia to the pop music of Regina Spektor. Although our audience expected the resident bear creature Nikolai to take the stage, it was actually the ringleader of the group, Miss Riot. Eve Riot was a Faberge egg of pastels and ballet work wrapped up in the heaviest fur coat she could find. She glided across the stage and revealed a very different side of her performance style with a lot of cute gestures and surprised faces.
Next we went to the United States, specifically New Orleans with Nikolai de la Muerte. Grooving with his trick cane to Bourbon Street by Tuohy, he gave the ladies something to swoon over. His athletic ability went to great effect here, bouncing around on the stage and tossing beads into the audience. Ending his tiny gold shorts the crowd was overcome with ecstatic hollering of approval.
Selia Something and Igor then took us to Brazil with a comedic juggling piece, our first juggling burlesque to take the stage to Take Sarava. Igor started this piece off with three juggling balls and a beatific smile on his countenance. Selia came in and started the farce off, by stealing his juggling balls and eventually removing his shirt to get him to drop them and take over. This created the premise of the act - two competing jugglers upping the stakes each time and removing one anothers' clothing when they got frustrated. The audience loved the display of talent & chemistry these two had together on stage both with juggling and the emotions displayed on stage.
Finally we went to the epitome of glamour and sensuality, France, with Eve Riot. This bump and grind chair number to Stromae's Tous Les Memes gave the audience a sexual display of twerking and hip shaking. Her black and white ensemble gave way to a riot of hot pink and tassels to give the crowd a lasting impression of fabulous fun.
After the bows, the crowd was invited to take photos, give praise or hugs to the performers before the break down of the lovely makeshift stage. Overall the full house left satisfied with the performance and the performers felt elated with their first burlesque show with this astounding convention.
Our group had a fantastic time at this convention. We enjoyed performing for new and familiar faces as well as getting to collaborate with some of our favorite steampunk communities while we were here. We left Sunday morning, feeling sad to leave but happy to have contributed to such a wonderful convention.
Thank you Wild Wild West Con - you were a great audience.
Written By Eve Riot
Photos by Paul Davis Photography, Melissa M Wambolt Photography, Chloe Batch Photography and Russ Turner Photography
Blog maintained by our lovely Ringleader-Eve Riot